Startup Branding 101: Basic Guide for startup founders

Startup Branding 101: Basic Guide for startup founders

‘Branding’ has now become the term that is used very frequently in the day-to-day conversations. But do you think the reference we give, is always about what is meant by ‘branding’ in a startup’s journey?

If you too are unsure of this, then let’s begin from the very basics of startup branding. While most people confuse the term branding and marketing as the same, the key difference is what purpose does it serve for the business. Branding is what helps people understand who you are and what your business stands for. While marketing is more about how to build the awareness of the brand and work for customer acquisition.

Now that you are clear with the terms, the next question could be about, ‘okay, we know what it is, but why is it really so important and founders keep stressing about it?’ So, without any further ado, let’s find out about it.

Why is branding a startup important?

‘Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room’- Jeff Bezos

As a new emerging business, you might have limited funds and might plan to skip out on branding and rather invest the capital in other areas of the business. But doing this, will create sustainability issues in the long term when you would have enough revenue but without a strong brand identity when competitor companies would bring and sell products on the same line.

The main objective of branding is to work on the concept of consumer psychology in a way that your brand forms a strong association in their heads and just with the associative product name, the first thing that should come to their head is your brand! Just like we visualize and imagine a red-colored apple when someone even says ‘apple’.

How to go about branding a startup? The ultimate startup branding guide

1. What is in a name? Find out

You might have heard of the quote that says, ‘What is in a name’! But remember, you need not think on those lines when you are thinking of a brand name for your startup. Because the name will be the first thing that would come to your consumer’s mind and it should be in a way that it talks about the brand, the kind of products it would have and should have a unique identity that resonates with the brand.

Some of the factors to keep in mind when you are into the startup branding process and are willing to decide the perfect name for your brand.

  • It should be easy to pronounce and remember – When a brand is in a growing phase, the biggest way to get more customers is through word of mouth. During this time, if the name itself is confusing and something one can’t remember easily then it can result in losing out on some potential consumers.
  • It should align with the brand’s vision – In the long run, whatever you visualize about the brand, should be reflected in the name of the brand.
  • Your brand name shouldn’t be the limiting factor – Moving forward, when the company would do well, you might think of adding the products or services to the business. At this time, if the name is too specific about the first few products, then the brand expansion can become a little difficult moving forward.

2. Logo

‘Design is the silent ambassador of the brand’ – Paul Rand

Your logo is something that will form a unique image in your consumer’s mind, and it is something that will make you stand apart in the market just by the mere image and the way it will form connections with your consumers. Make sure it is something relatable and something that aligns well with the brand’s identity and niche.

When you are getting it designed from an expert, tell them everything you have in your head about your startup branding and ask for options to pick from. Sharing some reference images or drawing something on a piece of paper can be the best way to transfer your ideas to the designer in the perfect way.

3. Share about where the brand is coming from-

Having a brand story is a very crucial element of branding a startup. Without knowing the real authentic side of any brand or any person, it makes the consumer feel difficult to trust them.

Thus, when you know the back story, the reason why the brand was started, and what mission and vision it holds for the coming time, it makes the consumer feel like they are a part of the story. And this relatability becomes one of the main reasons why consumers might choose your brand over others in the market.

4. Brand voice and Tagline

Remember the time when someone said, ‘Just do it’ and the first thought in your head was ‘Nike’ or someone said, ‘You’re worth it’ and you thought of the ‘L’Oréal’ product you once bought. If you too have experienced this, then you would very well relate to the importance of brand voice and tagline of the brand.

The more relatable or frequently used phrase it would be, the better will be the chances of people using the brand tagline during random conversations. Thus, always brainstorm a lot when you are about to finalize the brand’s tag line and then focus on setting the brand voice right when you are in the process of branding your startup.

5. Colors and Typography

Colors are the most underrated element of startup branding, but research suggests that people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products where the maximum attention is towards the colors. Thus, when you are in the process of deciding colors for your brand make sure you refer and learn more about color psychology and make the most of it.

The same goes for the fonts and typography of the startup branding. Uniformity in the typography will help you build a stronger association in the consumer’s mind, and this can be done by maintaining similarity on the website, packaging, and branding typography.

If you feel too overwhelmed to think of so many important aspects of branding and feel like this would be having too much on your plate while you are looking for other aspects of managing your startup, then the best option is to outsource the work. And we, at Kedden would love to be a helping hand in the process of startup branding while you can look after making the good figures. To know more, book a free 30 min consultation call with an expert from our team!


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